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Had an amazing cruise on Adventure of the Seas July 16 - 23


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Just returned on Saturday after an amazing week on Adventure of the Seas. After reading so many reviews while preparing for the trip, I thought I would write one this time.

 

This was my 5th cruise, 2nd on Royal. Have not felt a particular loyalty to any cruise line. We've picked our cruises based on the ports. My DH, DS19, DS16 and I were joined by another family with teens the same age who also joined us for our 2014 cruise on Explorer.

 

We flew in to San Juan from NY JFK on Friday. Our flight was at 7AM and Super Shuttle insisted on picking us up at 2:50 AM which we knew was way too early but after trying to push back, we gave in and got our teenagers out of bed at 2AM which was no easy task! We arrived at the airport before 4:00. I think the Delta counter opened at about 4:45. We were about the third group on line so we just waited on line to check our bags. Other than the fact that we were all zombies from lack of sleep, the flight was thankfully uneventful.

 

We took two cabs when we arrived at San Juan as no cab would take all 8 of us. I think the cab cost about $35 dollars. We had booked at the Caribe Hilton and when we arrived there at about noon, our rooms were not ready so we dropped our bags and went to the pool bar. The hotel was a good choice. The service was great, the grounds, beach and pool area were beautiful. The room was just ok. Not sure I would want to spend a whole week there as there was black mildew? stains around the air conditioner vent and we had a view of an old rusty basketball hoop in an overgrown courtyard. It worked for us for 1 night though and like I said, the grounds and pool area were beautiful!

 

Time to go to work...Will write more later.

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We also were on the same cruise with DW and DD 10. Also flew Delta from JFK but on Thursday AM flight. Looking forward to reading more of your review as we had a wonderful time in the cruise especially after reading all the negative nellies out there.

 

 

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We also were on the same cruise with DW and DD 10. Also flew Delta from JFK but on Thursday AM flight. Looking forward to reading more of your review as we had a wonderful time in the cruise especially after reading all the negative nellies out there.

 

 

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Please add your experiences! :)

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Friday, San Juan Cont'd - After spending a few hours at the pool bar we went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We had asked the concierge for a recommendation for authentic Puerto Rican food and she recommended El Jibarito. Definitely a great choice! It is a small place, not very fancy, inexpensive, the service was great and the food was even better. Our waitress brought samples of several things for us to try while we looked at the menu and everything was delicious. I highly recommend this place! After dinner we walked a little in Old San Juan, stopped at Walgreens to buy a case of water to bring on the ship and then grabbed a cab back to the hotel, since everyone was so tired from the the early morning shuttle pick up.

 

Saturday, San Juan - Since we went to bed early the night before, we were up pretty early (not the teenagers of course, they were still sleeping) so we decided to take a walk to Old San Juan. There is a nice path from where the hotel is right into Old San Juan. There was some shade along the path but it was hot, even at 7:30AM. The walk to Old San Juan took us about 30 minutes. We didn't walk in town too much but stopped at San Cristobal Fort and took a rest and some pictures and then began the hot trek back to the hotel. We went back to the beach for a few hours, had lunch and then got ready to head to the ship. By the way, the food and drink were way overpriced at the Caribe Hilton but there is a small little restaurant called Cafeteria Tropical just outside the entrance to the hotel where we ate breakfast. It was really cheap and the food was good. Nothing spectacular, but fine for breakfast or a quick lunch.

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We're sailing Adventure in September and staying at the Caribe Hilton. Great info so far! I'm putting the restaurants you mentioned in my notes and I didn't realize you could walk to OSJ!

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review!

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Looking forward to more of your review, too--your restaurant tips are great! We're not sailing on the Adventure until Feb. 2018 but I will definitely make a note of your suggestions. Thanks!

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Saturday, San Juan Cont’d – On previous cruises we always tried to get on the ship as early as they would let us. This time, since we were staying in a beautiful hotel, had asked for a late check-out (1:30) and the ship wasn’t leaving until 8:00, we decided to take our time. We grabbed a cab and arrived at the port at about 2:00. (Side note for those who have been on cruises with port stops in San Juan, this ship leaves from a different port, the Pan American. I learned this from reading reviews on Cruise Critic and don’t believe I saw anything in any of the paperwork that points this out, although I am sure all the cab drivers know. We originally thought of staying in Old San Juan and walking to the ship and this would not have been an option). So, it seemed as if everyone else had decided to arrive at 2:00 as the lines were outrageous. There are shorter lines for those who booked a suite or for Crown and Anchor members, but not Gold members like us. The lines were also split up by “Guests Dropping off Luggage” and “Guests with no Luggage.” Of course we got on the line for those with luggage and after waiting on the line for quite some time we realized that after we finished that line and dropped of our luggage, we were going to be sent to the other line – UGH! We also noticed that several people got on the no luggage line with their luggage and were able to check their luggage anyway. We didn’t understand how that was happening and it was pretty annoying, but being the rule followers that we are, we stayed on the long line, checked our luggage and then got on the other long line. I won’t go into detail about all the people who cut us on the line because I try not to let those things get to me. After going through the security check there is a duty free liquor store where you can buy wine or champagne. They allow you to bring 2 bottles per cabin. After buying our wine and getting ready to get on the next line my DS told me he couldn’t find his passport. We went back to the security check and a really nice agent went around to all the other agents and asked them to look for it. After about 10 minutes of freaking out my DH realized it was in his pocket. We all slapped him around a bit, thanked and apologized to the security agent and then headed for the check in line for gold members! We got our cards and were on the ship. The whole ordeal took about 2 hours, which I guess is not terrible and our rooms were ready when we got on so we went right to our room.

 

Before going on this cruise I read every review I could find. There were so many different opinions about the condition of the ship, the attitude of the staff, etc., so I guess I was prepared for the worst but hoping for the best. I will not focus too much on the bad things since so much of it was great! The ship is not brand new, you can see some wear and tear if you really look for it, but it really is a beautiful ship. That being said, our room had a smell. DH said it smelled like cat pee, I thought it was more like dirty feet. It may have been from previous cruisers leaving the balcony door open. Our friends were in the cabin next door and their room did not smell. Whatever it was, I also smelled it from time to time in other parts of the ship, in the hallways, etc. DH told our room steward about it and he told us he would shampoo the carpets the next day while we were in St. Maarten. When we returned to the ship on Sunday the room smelled fresh and the smell was gone. As the cruise went on, it slowly began to return. Again, I wouldn’t let it ruin our cruise but it was disappointing.

 

Sorry, have to sign off again to go to work. Hope this is not too much detail for everyone. At this rate, it may take me months to finish this!

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We're sailing Adventure in September and staying at the Caribe Hilton. Great info so far! I'm putting the restaurants you mentioned in my notes and I didn't realize you could walk to OSJ!

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review!

 

You can walk, but it is about 30 minutes just to get to OSJ so you'd have to add the time it would take to walk around OSJ. Also, I am not sure if I would do it at night as I don't know how well lit the walkway is or if it would be safe.

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You can walk, but it is about 30 minutes just to get to OSJ so you'd have to add the time it would take to walk around OSJ. Also, I am not sure if I would do it at night as I don't know how well lit the walkway is or if it would be safe.

 

No, I would not do it at night either!

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Done this route many times. Love it. 5 times to be exact. We usually stay at the Sheraton Old San Juan. Not far from the pier a van ride or cab away.

 

Nice to see you again - hope everything is going well for you!!! We too have stayed at the Sheraton in the past, but not sure if we will again as it is my understanding that when it was sold they took out the casino. Jan

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After unpacking we walked around the ship until it was time for the muster drill, which I believe was at 5:30. I know everyone has said it before, but I will say it again, the worst part of the drill is that they won’t start until everyone is there and people really take their time. So everyone stands in the crowded lines in the heat until the latecomers show up. Ok, rant over. Once they got started the drill took about 15 minutes.

 

We were scheduled for the late dinner seating (8:30) so we went to the Duck and Dog for a drink, then went back to the room to get ready for dinner. By the way, when we got our Seapass cards at the check in desk, the first thing we did was check our dinner table assignment. The number is on the card and on our last cruise, we were all seated at different tables and were not able to have that fixed until the second night. Thankfully, this did not happen on this cruise and we all had the same table on our cards.

 

I can’t remember what I ate each day, but will give an overview of my opinion of the food on this cruise. Of course, food is subjective and many may feel differently. Again, after having read so many reviews, my expectations were somewhat low. I can’t think of one thing that I ate that I did not like (except cold eggs, more about that later), although I am not an overly picky eater. Also, anytime someone was served something that they didn’t like, our wait staff was quick to offer an alternative. Here’s a run down of the places we ate:

 

Breakfast – We ate at the Windjammer buffet every day, except on the sea day. The buffet was…A buffet. There were mostly the same choices each day, but when you are offering just about every kind of breakfast food, I am not sure how this could be varied from day to day. My only criticism of the breakfast buffet is that the longest line is for omelets and the line blocks many of the other choices. If someone does not want an omelet, they have to ask the people on the omelet line to step aside so they can get to the other food. I think this could be set up better. On sea day, we went to the main dining room and I ordered eggs benedict, which was the only thing missing from the buffet and the only reason I wanted to go to the dining room. It was freezing cold. I was so disappointed since I was really looking forward to it. As I said, I am not a picky eater, but I can’t eat cold eggs. After the waiter brought our food, he seemed to disappear so I got up to find one and asked if I could order something else. I ordered a fried egg and hash browns and when they came, after everyone else finished eating, they were warm. Was not thrilled with the dining room experience.

 

Lunch – We ate lunch mostly at the Windjammer each day when we returned to the ship so it was towards the end of the lunch time. Mostly we were just grabbing something to hold us over until dinner. The choices varied somewhat, but many things were repeated (tacos, fried chicken, burgers, etc). Everything I tried was good. We also ordered room service one day when we got back on the ship, and everyone loved the chicken (I think it was honey something chicken).

 

Dinner - We ate in the main dining room every night. I cant say enough great things about the staff there (Waiter -Roberto, Asst Waiter - Ryndika, and Bar Server -Francis). Very attentive, offered seconds of entrees and even brought over extra entrees for us to try in addition to what we ordered. Roberto was very quick to notice if someone didn't like something and would immediately offer something else. Also, several times we ordered an entrée as an appetizer, or ordered two appetizers and they were happy to comply. I liked everything I ate but loved the rack of lamb, beef tendloin, and the tai chicken salad. On the second formal night, I had lobster. It was small, but I was offered a second one and it was very good. Those who ordered the prime rib that night, though, were very disappointed. It was sliced very thin (like cold cuts, someone said) and was extremely fatty. This seemed to be the only thing that everyone hated. Overall, I thought the dinners in the main dining room were great.

 

Promenade Café - We grabbed a quick bite there a couple of times. They had small sandwiches which were pretty good, pizza that was just ok and for an added charge ($6-8) they had sushi. I tried the crispy tuna and it was just ok. I didn't care for the "crispy" breading that was on it. Everyone said all the other sushi options were good and my son ate this every day.

 

More to come....

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We had the same wait staff at the 6:00 seating on the same exact cruise. I will definitely post a review of our trip under a new thread. Looking forward to reading more of your review.

 

 

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Edited by 19feller
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